Religious pluralism and referential realism
Pratt, D. (2005). Religious pluralism and referential realism. Paper presented at the Realism and Philosophy of Religion Conference (The British Society for the Philosophy of Religion), 13-15 September, 2005, University of Oxford.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/756
Religious plurality is a fact of our time. It cannot be avoided. Neither can it be factually acknowledged then cognitively shunned, except by enacting a most obtuse denial. Religious plurality demands a cognitive response. The pressing question is how to comprehend both other religions in themselves and, of course, reflect on what they mean in respect of comprehending one’s own. If other religions are not to be denied, are they to be treated as equal? Do religions aspire to the same goal? Are they just varying paths with the same end? What is the nature of the reality embedded in the notion of religious plurality? It is in response to issues such as these that the paradigm of pluralism has emerged to challenge not only any narrow exclusivism, but also the more subtle inclusivism where one religion is perceived to function as the dominant paradigm to which all others, in some sense, are subsumed. In this paper I shall briefly review, and critically discuss, the paradigm of religious pluralism with particular reference to the work of Peter Byrne with respect to referential realism.